Identification of the gene responsible for gelatinous drop-like corneal dystrophy

Abstract

Gelatinous drop-like corneal dystrophy (GDLD; OMIM 204870) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by severe corneal amyloidosis leading to blindness1,2,3,4, with an incidence of 1 in 300,000 in Japan5. Our previous genetic linkage study localized the gene responsible to a 2.6-cM interval on chromosome 1p (ref. 6). Clinical manifestations, which appear in the first decade of life, include blurred vision, photophobia and foreign-body sensation. By the third decade, raised, yellowish-grey, gelatinous masses severely impair visual acuity, and lamellar keratoplasty is required for most patients5. Here we report DNA sequencing, cDNA cloning and mutational analyses of four deleterious mutations (Q118X, 632delA, Q207X and S170X) in M1S1 (formerly TROP2 and GA733-1), encoding a gastrointestinal tumour-associated antigen. The Q118X mutation was the most common alteration in the GDLD patients examined, accounting for 33 of 40 (82.5%) disease alleles in our panel of families. Protein expression anaysis revealed aggregation of the mutated, truncated protein in the perinuclear region, whereas the normal protein was distributed diffusely in the cytoplasm with a homogenous or fine granular pattern. Our successful identification of the gene that is defective in GDLD should facilitate genetic diagnosis and potentially treatment of the disease, and enhance general understanding of the mechanisms of amyloidosis.

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Figure 1: Physical map of the GDLD region.
Figure 2: Northern analysis of M1S1.
Figure 3: Electropherograms showing DNA sequences surrounding each of the four mutations (right) and segregation of the mutations as revealed by restriction endonuclease digestion and haplotype analysis.
Figure 4: Cellular localization of full-length and truncated M1S1.
Figure 5: Schematic representation of the structure of M1S1.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a Research on Human Genome and Gene Therapy grant from Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan.

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Correspondence to Yusuke Nakamura.

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